Recent comments

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   31 weeks 6 days ago

    There are a few problems with getting rid of anonymity on the web. First off, a technical one: if people sign with full names, how do you verify that they are who they claim to be? That can quickly become a headache for the website operator, and possibly a liability. Second is a question of trust. Because a username is also used to login to the website, that information is now part of the database, to be used or abused by all the people who have access to it, be it owners, technical staff, or even the operators of the remote servers which may get used, or malicious hackers.

    Anonymity also provides a way to comment without fear of repercussions. That's important to a lot of people who might otherwise be afraid to speak up. These repercussions might be anything from social ostracism, to actual violence, and they may be real, well founded fears, or simply perceived. Either way, you would lose a lot of points of view.  It's true anonymity also allows people to bully or just be mean and hide behind a pseudonym, but that's a small price to pay for greater diversity in opinions. And such people are easily dismissed, even more so by websites that allow users to hide comments from people they find offensive.

    Personally, I don't value a comment more or less if it is signed with a real name or not - I value it based on the merits of the argument made in the expression of opinion.  Knowing a name is also not the same as knowing the person. To me, the only value of using real names is having the opportunity to continue a conversation face to face with some people, which is why I use an abbreviated version of my name, enough for people who know me to figure out who I am.

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   31 weeks 6 days ago

    And so, probably inevitably, we move toward a discussion of anonymity on the web. While I wish we lived in a world where citizens would proudly sign their names to all their comments, we simply don't. And so the choice is between almost no comments and the option of anonymous comments. It's as simple as that, I'm afraid. Don't believe us? Ask the New York Times...

    That said, I do think that signed comments carry more weight in the eyes of  our readership than anonymous ones. When I read an anonymous post, especially a negative or critical one, I take the thoughts of 'pieman' or 'ski4life' less seriously than ones with names of actual human beings attached.

    Finally, the only 'serious' argument I know of that supports anonymity is the 'coffee shop' one that argues comments are not 'published' in the same sense that articles or comment pieces are. Rather, they are more like spoken opinions made in public. So if you're in the Grind and some stranger at the next table is going on about how Lone Sheep is an exclusionary monoculture, you would tend to evaluate their words by their innate sense (or lack thereof) rather than by the person's reputation. That's not such a bad thing when you stop to think about it. In fact, when I read the opinions of people I know and respect I'm very likely prejudiced in their favour.

    Can we argue that, if nothing else, anonymous comments allow us to hear arguments more objectively? Certainly, this would be the case if we required that ALL our commenters used pseudonyms! (Not that we're planning on doing that...).

    And as for thumbs...I agree with Andre that they're pretty silly.--ed.

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   32 weeks 4 hours ago

    Why not eliminate those thumbs altogether?

    Thumbs contribute little, if anything, to any debate. About as constructive as those standing ovations by loyal party members in the House of Commons when their leader asks a questions or responds to one.

    If we are going to have a serious conversation on any subject, from taxes to plugged sewers to climate change, we should be able to do so by identifying ourselves and stating an opinion or point of view.

    We are not in North Korea, and we should therefore not only expect, but accept (and be bloody well grateful) that the range of opinions, views, and beliefs out there is wide and varied.

    The internet is a tool to facilitate conversation, not to trivialize it.

    When we meet face to face, the first thing we do - if we want to engage in a conversation - is to introduce ourselves. "Hi, my name is ..."

    Imagine a face-to-face debate where participants are few, and most of those who do hide behind a pseudonym while the rest silently nod their heads, up and down to agree (thumbs up), left and right to disagree (thumbs down).

    The internet is a tool we could use to facilitate and enrich conversation and debate. Instead to many of us use it to trivialize debate by reducing it to anonymous babble.

    (And if anyone touches a thumbs button in response to this, I'll pout and refuse to submit any comments to this paper until next time.)

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   32 weeks 7 hours ago

    Having an opinion isn't the same as demonizing those with whom one disagrees. In fact, having an opinion, by definition means disagreeing with other opinions! How do we disrespect others' points of view by sharing our own?

    I have no idea why you think we reject diversity. If you'd like to write something in support of your own views, please feel free. If it's well-written we'll publish it. In fact, we've put the word out a number of times over the years seeking contributions from people of ANY political persuasion, but we haven't yet had any luck finding, let's say, a Conservative supporter who wants to share their views in our Comments sections. I'd like nothing better than some intelligent sparring with different perspectives.

    As for the political party 'we' support, I can't speak for other contributors and editors but I have no idea which one you're thinking of!

    Sorry you're offended, Viirga. Consider joing the conversation instead. You'd be welcome.--ed.

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   32 weeks 15 hours ago

    What a mystery! How could people thumbs down the opinion of Lonesheep Publishing!?

    Is it because the political biase in all the Lonesheep epapers are decidedly in favour of one point of view and to one political party? With news stories and editorials that source single points of view?

    Or maybe the thumbs are response to the disrespect of other points of view? Why do you suppose it is necessary to demonize those that don't share Lonesheep's opinions? 

    In your democracy there really is no room for diversity is there?

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   32 weeks 18 hours ago

    The thumbs up and thumbs down are a constant source of mystery to us here at Telegraph HQ. Even when we post stories with no controversy at all we get a healthy number of thumbs down!  What does this mean? I have no idea!

    With regard to the current piece by Mr. Dobbin, it's fair to say that anyone who supports either Harper or Trudeau would disagree with my comments--and a fair number of Canadians still cling to the belief that voting is something more than a badly-acted piece of theatre. What I think is more interesting is that fully half the readers who bother to show a preference agree that radical change is needed! I take this  as a very healthy sign. A 'glass is half full' rather than half empty situation, perhaps!

    To me it shows that, as a society, we're at least beginning to engage the idea that  it's not business as usual out there and that our 'democracy' is failing, increasingly, to even maintain the veneer of functionality. One can only hope that this also points toward the possibility of real change.

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   32 weeks 1 day ago

    Don't know why there are so many obviously blind people turning thumbs down on this reply. They don't know what a true democracy is or they would see that the only time we have a say is when we vote. ENOUGH SAID

  • COMMENT: MP says safer rail means safer communities   32 weeks 1 day ago

    What more can be expected when companies are privatized they are only interested in making money safety is on the back burner. And now they want to privatize postal services. It is time to take back our Canada that the Political cronies have sold out from under Canadians. That means our forests and what is under the ground as well.

  • LETTER: Water Meter Extortion?   32 weeks 1 day ago

    The citizens of Grand Forks have the opportunity to put this whole water metering fiasco on hold in November, during the municipal elections.  Simply vote for candidates opposed to forcing water meters down our throats, thus changing the make up of our city council.  Pretty simple eh

  • LETTER: Water Meter Extortion?   32 weeks 2 days ago
    Couldn't agree with you more, Donna. There is absolutely nothing voluntary or democratic about this business!
  • CONTEST: April 2014 -- Wildways Bike Tune-up   32 weeks 2 days ago

    My bike could use a tune-up!


  • CONTEST: April 2014 -- Wildways Bike Tune-up   32 weeks 4 days ago

    Want to ride from Pualson to Castlegar, along the Columbia and Western, but the  bike gears won't let me do this without a fix.


  • CONTEST: April 2014 -- Wildways Bike Tune-up   32 weeks 5 days ago

    Just spinning my wheels until I can get out riding again.  So much fun riding with the kids.


  • Taylor says humane society is needed in GF   32 weeks 6 days ago

    It seems like Brian wants to get rid of the BC Corps of Commissionaires that currently take care of animal control in the area.  This appears to be a personal objective as I believe that Brian does not like the contract. I believe that the current animal control officers are doing a great job. As to feral cats, that needs to be addressed in the by-laws and to the best my knowledge has not been done yet. Yes I may be biased as I work for the Commissionaires but not in an Animal Control position but rather as a Detentention Guard under contract to the local RCMP taking care of their cell block.

  • Tracy goes on a mad shopping spree   32 weeks 6 days ago

    Good job Les, love the music...goes together perfect!!  Shara, I think these contests are a great way to promote businesses in Grand Forks.  Thank you for taking the time to put them on via Boundary Sentinel!!

  • CONTEST: April 2014 -- Wildways Bike Tune-up   33 weeks 1 day ago

    It would take more than a bike tuneup to enable me to ride from Grand Forks to Christina Lake... LOL!

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   33 weeks 1 day ago

    Two questions arise for me. 1. Will this scandal make Canadians care more about how they are governed? 2. If so, will it make a difference to the outcome of the next federal election?

    The answer to both questions is very likely to be 'no'. Harper and his ilk (I put Justin Trudeau and company in the same category) care only about keeping/getting power. Our leaders have no interest in democracy. Neither do the great majority of the people.

    What will make people get interested? Only the realization that the current trend will, soon enough, hurt them and their children.

    All the warning signs of impending catastrophe are clearly visible and well-documented. But it hasn't hit home yet. The danger is that, by the time we realize what's going on, it will be too late.

  • Q & A — The Grand Forks Water Meter Plan   33 weeks 3 days ago

    Everyone needs to stand together on this and say NO.  If EVERYONE does this, then maybe, just maybe we will be able to stop this nonsense.

  • Court injunction gives hope to those who need medicinal weed   33 weeks 4 days ago

    It is because Canada is a backwards country. Canada is being run by the US equivalent of Sarah Palin and American Tea Party. The only more right wing country in the world is now Israel. Canada is making pot laws more harsh while the rest of the world moves the opposite direction. It's been a decade since Portugal legalized all drugs and the US is legalizing pot. Meanwhile backwards moving Canada makes minimum sentences and makes it harder to get medicinal pot. This country is going downhill and I am embarrassed to be a Canadian today.

  • Court injunction gives hope to those who need medicinal weed   33 weeks 5 days ago

    I think everyone knows the Harper Government only want to make this a money grab for corporations to bilk people out of their money. Why is it that Canada is so backward when the Americans are finally opening up a reality of legalization and decriminalization? Once again we see the Government is ignoring the same ones that allowed them to rule (unjustly). The only time voters get a say in anyhing is when voting (maybe?)

  • SPOTLIGHT FILMS: The Crash Reel   34 weeks 17 hours ago

    Thanks for highlighting this. I have to commend Maureen and Marius of the Gem Theatre for dealing with the mix-up with such grace. They are awesome community supporters! Hope to see lots of folks out for the re-screening, it is a great documentary.

  • CONTEST: April 2014 -- Wildways Bike Tune-up   34 weeks 17 hours ago

    I would love to win a bike tune-up and then start riding the trail from Grand Forks to Christina Lake.

  • SPOTLIGHT FILMS: The Crash Reel   34 weeks 1 day ago

    There was a miscommunication with the screening of this film. The show will be at GEM theatre on Tuesday, April 8th and those that showed up to the previous screening will get a medium popcorn for their trouble. 

  • GF council in hot water at regular meeting   34 weeks 1 day ago

    An update on the petition... 

    At the last council meeting, a petition was presented to council with almost 800 signatures and the presenters again asked for a referendum and more town hall meetings. The petitioners feel that the number of signatures is significant because there were 1179 voters in the last municipal election and over 3,000 people are estimated to be eligible voters. That means over half of the voters and 25% of the eligible voters put their names on the petition. 

  • CONTEST: March 2014 -- Up to $200 from Your Dollar Store with More   34 weeks 1 day ago

    Congratulations! You're the winner -- random number generator says ... FOUR. I'll send you a message with more details.